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‘Covid-19 situation in Latur district under control, CFR has come down to 2.8 pc’

Though Covid-19 has sort of taken a backseat, it remains our priority. At the same time, it is not preventing residents from living their normal live. District Collector G Sreekanth says in an interview with Manoj More.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More |
September 30, 2020 10:55:08 pm
covid-19 in maharashtra, covid-19 in latur, covid cases in latur, covid postivity rate in latur, covid news, indian express newsLatur District Collector G Sreekanth. (Screen Grab/ Facebbok @G.SreekanthIAS)

In the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, Latur district had hardly seen any cases. However, as its residents working in Mumbai, Pune and other cities started returning, Latur saw a sudden spike in coronavirus cases. But the situation is now going back to normal.

What is the Covid-19 situation in Latur district ?

In the first three months, we had only 25 positive cases. After the lockdown started easing, cases increased for the next two to three months. Now, we are again seeing a decline. Latur residents are now busy with their daily activities, like they were before March.

Though Covid-19 has sort of taken a backseat, it remains our priority. At the same time, it is not preventing residents from living their normal lives. As of now, the situation is under control and the administration is busy resolving farmers’ problems and other issues of the people in the wake of the recent deluge due to heavy rain.

Has the number of Covid-19 tests dropped in the district?

No, we are currently conducting 1,200 tests daily. In city areas where the virus spread more rapidly than rural areas, the testing continues in a big way. Our testing went up after we had procured some 1 lakh antigen kits. We plan to procure 60,000 more antigen kits.

What is the positivity rate currently?

Our positivity rate had shot up after a large number of people returned from outside to their native place. As of now, the positivity rate is 16-17 per cent. It has persisted for quite sometime. We hope to bring it down..

What is the case fatality ratio?

Like the positivity rate, the case fatality ratio had increased to 3.7 per cent, but it has now come down to 2.8 per cent. I think the state’s CFR is 2.6 per cent. We are close to that and expect the CFR to go down further. So far, we have seen 471 deaths. Of these, 95 per cent were co-morbid patients.

What is the situation vis-à-vis home quarantine ?

We have some 700 patients under home quarantine, about 37 per cent of the total positive cases of 17,000. The total active cases are around 2,800. Those who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms are home quarantined and regularly monitored by our special teams. If they develop any serious symptoms, they are immediately admitted to the hospital and treated.

Has the state government’s ‘My family, my responsibility’ campaign been undertaken in Latur?

Yes, it is the fourth survey which has started in the district. In fact, Latur district was the first to undertake such a survey under our ACP plan. ACP stands for ‘anti-corona police’. We had given the responsibility to take care and monitor family members to their respective children. I had started the practice right from my home, where my daughter became the ACP. The chief minister had praised our initiative then.

Do containment zones still exist?

Yes, we have some 1,079 containment zones. In city areas, any house where a Covid-19 cases is found, is declared a containment zone. But in rural areas, 10-15 houses are declared as containment zones. The number keeps changing …

Is the mask norm being strictly implemented?

If a resident is not wearing a mask, he/she can’t enter any government office. At the same time, I would like to point out that instead of “shiksha” (penalty) we are relying on “shikshan” or educating the people. We believe that instead of penalising, people should realise that wearing a mask is their duty. By wearing masks, they not only protect themselves but also protect their own family and fellow residents

Has your much-discussed Facebook Live event come to a standstill?

No, it has not. Earlier, I had held a Facebook Live continuously for over 100 days. Now, I am holding it once every week. Earlier, it was about Covid-19, the precautions to be taken, the steps to protect oneself and one’s family. Then I started discussing different issues and answered questions raised by residents. It helped me clear the doubts and confusion prevailing in the minds of residents. Especially when the lockdown was being lifted, a lot of residents were confused. My Facebook Live events helped set the record straight.

How many farmers were affected after the recent heavy rain?

Crop over one lakh hectare was damaged. One lakh small and marginal farmers have been affected. We are now conducting the panchnamas and completing the necessary procedure so that the farmers can get government help for the damage suffered. The rain has helped fill up Manjara dam, the lifeline of Latur, up to 54 per cent. Similarly, another dam, Lower Terarna, is filled up to 40 per cent.

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